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Series/Special. Examining media coverage and how it can shape the news. New. (CC)

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Us 12, New York 11, Washington 8, Boehner 7, John Boehner 6, Lance Armstrong 5, Joe Biden 5, America 5, Phillips 4, Christie 4, Clinton 4, Sandy 4, Osama Bin 3, Dana 3, Geico 3, Jonathan 3, Lifelock 3, Motrin 3, Mitch Mcconnell 2, Rupert Murdoch 2,
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  CNN    Reliable Sources    Series/Special. Examining media coverage  
   and how it can shape the news. New. (CC)  

    January 6, 2013
    8:00 - 9:00am PST  

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myanmar, formally burma, held its first ever public new year's celebration. you see, the ruling had denied the right to ring in the new year shoulder to shoulder as part of a larger ban on any large gathering. but with the pressure off on monday night the burmese were finally free to celebrate the passage of time from 2012 to 2013. as many as 100,000 people were set to have attended this event. much of the price tag for the party was covered by international companies, all wrangling to get a piece of the action in this booming economy. the correct answer to our gps challenge question was "c." if you're drinking darjeeling tea in the european union you can be sure it was grown in the darjeeling district up by the border of nepal. the protecting of names is protecting the special tarawar of special foods. thanks to all of you for being
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part of my program this week, i will see you next week. stay tuned for "reliable sources." middle of the night votes, secret meetings, shifting story lines, countdown clocks. the fiscal cliff mellow drama was a bit of a blur for journalists to figure out what was happening on the hill. >> i am advised there is no deal yet. they're still in talks. >> unless something drastic changes in the next five hours, america will go over the fiscal cliff. >> how did the press handle the craziness and was a small deal hyped as something bigger? hillary clinton out of the hospital after suffering a blood clot. this after some fox commentators doubted and mocked her illness. >> she's suffering from acute benghazi allergy which causes light headedness when she hears the word benghazi or is being asked about it. >> could it be time for an
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apology? al gore sells his current tv channel to al juzeera. does the arab-based network have a shot at making it in america? the press that the republican party has become extremist. do they have a point? i'll have something to say how lance armstrong lied to me. i'm howard kurtz and this is "reliable sources." most normal americans were taking some time to celebrate on new year's eve and watch bowl games or sleep it off on new year's day. but here in washington, many journalists were working around the clock as the white house and congress tried to avert the dreaded fiscal cliff. it was one tough story to cover with endless twists and turns. >> while i was talking to you, wolf, i got a message, an e-mail saying from a senior democratic source saying the goal is tonight. >> mr. vice president, we're
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live on cnn, do you have a deal? >> happy new year. >> house republicans staged a new year's day revolt to avoid the fiscal cliff. >> america went over the fiscal cliff at midnight, but we are still waiting to see if it will be a hard fall or a soft landing. >> despite some hopeful signs very early this morning, we are still in a freefall. >> we have news and that is that the house republicans have decided just to take up the clean senate bill. >> we're on the threshold here of passing the passage and i think we may have just made it at 214. >> joining us now are two reporters who work the marble halls in covering the story. cnn senior congressional correspondent dana bash and jonath jonathan weisman who covers for "new york times." what was it like trying to get information around the clock during all that late-night craziness in that mad house? >> it was not easy. i tell you, you're really being manipulated because you're
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getting strategic leaks and getting calls and then you'd have these moments of just pure blackout, nothing. no information at all and you were just, you know, working the phones and sending out e-mails. just trying to get anything at all because there was, like you guys, trying to put it all on the air. we were trying to get it online all the time. the demand was 24/7, really, for any information at all. >> during these periods of confusion and blackout, as jonathan said, you had to do live shots. anchors would come to you and say, so, dana, what is the latest? >> the american people watching cnn watch the sausage being made and they actually watched our, how our journalism works. how it really works. it was really all out there for everybody to see. as you saw just in that clip me saying to wolf, wait a minute, i got an e-mail saying that changed. it was all happening realtime. what you just said about the leaks was very interesting. and, you know, at certain times, as jonathan said, they went totally dark. but at other times all of a sudden you would get a call and say, here's something that's in
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the deal. you know that they're doing that for a reason. and one of those times. >> what would that reason be? >> one of those times i got a call from a congressional source, democratic source saying that something was happening. and it, it was clear to me right away that it was not something done to kind of tweak the republicans, muitch mcconnell. it was done to push back against the democrat in the white house. so, my challenge was to talk about what we heard, but also to do a transparentally. to say this was told to us on purpose in order to try to push back against the vice president. democrat to democrat. >> i'm getting whip lash just listening to this. if you're getting calls or e-mails and reaching out to staffers and strategists on both sides, how do you guard against being spun? it's hard to check anything in that type of vortex? >> the other side was always guarding, too. i remember this one moment where sources close to the negotiation, which happened to
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be reflecting the position of the white house, were giving us one thing and then, literally, ten minutes later, i get an e-mail from the speaker's office saying, are you on capitol hill? we're going to have a briefing in ten minutes and i was actually at my house. this was like 9:00 at night. i said, i can't possibly and we tried to wire in and everything, but it was -- i mean, it was a game of, i don't know of chess or checkers, but everyone is watching everyone's last move. for us, you know, we did have to reflect, as dana said, reflect what the purpose of the information was as much as what the information itself was. >> as the action shifted to the senate and as joe biden and mitch mcconnell started their private dealmaking, were you getting into john boehner's people, he was cut out of the action or the occasional blackout. >> they were cut out. they were kept aprize. certainly john boehner was talking to mitch mcconal and their offices were talking to
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one another. i had senior senators coming up to me in the hallways saying we're learning what's happening in these private talks from you. >> that's scary. >> why are you finding that scary? how about us? >> you'd hear something and then a senator would tell you something and you'd say, how did you learn that? because you had to make sure that they weren't learning it from us. >> well, it sounds like a closed loop and were there any times when you were fed and went with it or didn't go with it erroneous information or misinformation or misdirection? >> absolutely. at one point we were being fed that the income threshold for where taxes were going to go were solid. $400 billion. it wasn't $400 billion. it was $450 billion. i'm sorry -- >> when you spend so much time on the hill, the numbers become meaningless. >> 400,000, i'm sorry. i know that might sound like a little thing, but not a little
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thing. the democrats were working hard to keep that as low as they could. we had to go back and correct it. >> is this a situation where we only often find out what happened behind the scenes later politico and others reporting in a tense moment before a meeting harry reid and we didn't know that at the time. >> we didn't know that at the time but the reason we learned that is because each of those men were sort of bragging about it to their caucus in caucus meetings. you know what happens when you tell more than five people, especially in an open meeting. it gets out. boehner, i was told by one member who was sort of acting it out to his colleagues, acting out what he did at that time when he said the blank -- the blank yourself and vice versa and reid was also talking about it to his democratic colleagues. so, it definitely was one of those examples at that moment of
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breaking tension, but also for those of us covering it, a real window into these men and how they really feel about each other. >> right. i mean, there are real personalities and people get ticked off and they're anxious and they're tired. you were probably all tired. i wonder whether or not because the press is kind of deadline ornianted and you go on the air and go online and you can write in the "new york times" we have a deal. a deal to extend tax breaks for most americans, but no spending cuts, push the sequester back two months and all of that. really wasn't much of a deal and i wonder if the press, just because of its volume, made it seem like a bigger deal than it was. >> i actually, humbly disagree with you, howie. remember, since 2001, since the first bush tax cuts went into play, we have had this bizarre tax code that has always been haunted by a sunset. eventually, something was going to end. this deal that was just passed
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with very little debate, very quickly for the first time in more than ten years, we have a permanent tax code right now. >> that's my point. to the extent that the country has a huge debt problem and still has a fiscal crisis. basically, not a single dollar has been cut and all that is going to happen too much. you all be up half the night. let me touch on one other point. in the craziness in the late nights, no mention in most of the reporting that i saw until afterwards about the aid for hurricane sandy and i wonder if that was an oversight and everybody was focused on one thing and forgot unless you live in new york or new jersey $60,000 that was supposed to be voted on and wasn't. >> i didn't talk about it very much on tv. we did write stories on it on cnn.com. our congressional producer wrote a story when the senate passed it. but part of the reason we didn't focus on it that much is because we were told by eric cantor's office and those who were really shepherding it that it was going
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to happen. it was really, genuinely, a last-minute move by john boehner to pull it. that's why it sent all of us in the media, the governor of new jersey into a tizzy. >> washington has a hard time doing more than one thing at once. that goes -- >> i can say the same thing about the media. hurricane sandy and the devastation that it unleashed, particularly in the states of new york and new jersey and else where was a huge story, but now it's kind of faded and everybody has moved on, unless you live in those communities and it wasn't until the politicians from those states went crazy that we got back on. doing one thing at once also applies to this business. >> how tired did you get doing this and how do you stay awake at 2:00 in the morning? >> we were working on adrenaline so much that the first day i could take off was friday. i worked basically two straight weeks. you know, we had harry reid's rocking christmas, rocking new year's eve. we all stumbled off the hill at 4:00 a.m. >> what happened friday?
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>> i didn't get out of bed from friday until this morning. >> anyone out there taking finals and crammed and been up all night and then the next day gets sick, knows the feeling we have right now. >> jonathan still recuperating. dana bash, thanks for stopping by. those conservative pundits dismissing hillary clinton's supposed illness hasn't had much to say since she was diagnosed with a blood clot. will understand. oh no, it's actually my geico app...see? ...i just uh paid my bill. did you really? from the plane? yeah, i can manage my policy, get roadside assistance, pretty much access geico 24/7. sounds a little too good to be true sir. i'll believe that when pigs fly. ok, did she seriously just say that? geico. just click away with our free mobile app. officemax can help you drive supply costs... down... ...and down. just use your maxperks card and get a case of x-9 paper
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hillary clinton had to cancel her scheduled testimony about the attack on american diplomats in benghazi when she fell ill and later fainted and got a concussion. one place she didn't get sympathy is fox news. >> you don't want to go to a
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meeting or an event, you have a diplomatic illness. this is a diplomatic illness. >> how can she get a concussion when she's been ducking everything? this makes no sense to me. >> hillary clinton, i guess she passed out somewhere. is she unconscious somewhere? she can't testify. >> secretary of state, of course, later diagnosed with a blood clot near her brain but since released from the hospital. joining us to talk about this anna marie cox political columnist for "the guardian" and tim carney. what does this tell us about the media culture they make fun of whether or not hillary clinton was actually sick. >> it is all theater. when it becomes all theater, they don't seem real. she has been on stage for a long time. probably doesn't help that she was sort of consciously part of the drama, you know, when she was first lady. there was a lot of show.
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you know, during the clinton presidency. i do think it's remarkable that we are able to skip right over the, oh, that's too bad part. the moment of sympathy that you're supposed to get, i think, before you say the joke. it's too soon moment. no such thing as too soon any more. the conspiracy theories start right away. again, hillary played a part in that sort of thing herself. >> her beat up on benghazi fair game. but was some of this out of bounds? >> if people knew she was sick and attacking her and making fun of her for it, that would be one thing. people would doubt her account i don't think is extraordinary. >> they're not doubting her account, they're doubting her illness. >> "new york" magazine said if a republican was in this situation, would liberals believed them? some wouldn't have. hillary does have, this is not a conspiracy, she does have a trouble in the past.
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you have lots of liberals who said, i don't i can trust hillary. not the right thing for these pundits to do it, but you understand why. >> mockery which is like, oh, yeah, let's see your doctor's note. you're really sick. they are calling her a liar. that doesn't trouble you? >> i wouldn't have done that. it does trouble me, yes. the sort of thing that happens. i don't know it is unprecedented. >> i mean, i don't know. can you say this happens on both sides? i think one difference is that i think that because a lot of journalism happens sort of main stream journalism, that's where your liberal bias comes in. i think that longer pause, that too soon pause. >> no equivalence here. we're talking about paid pundits and contributors on fox news versus some morons on twitter. but when george bush sr. was in the hospital and things looked dicy, there were left wingers on twitter who said, he should die. he should die a painful death. not the same as professional pundits, but it's ugly. >> that's much uglier and not
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the same. i mean, it's much -- not anyone on fox news was calling for a painful experience or death for hillary. they were doubting her. again, like we do live in a culture where everything is under doubt. let's also point out that this comes out of a narrative of benghazi where everything has already been called into account and there have been changes in the story. >> things were very murky. and, particularly hillary herself has a history of sometimes not being fully forthcoming. that's not a conservative thing to say. >> the state department has pushed back on this and when a fox news correspondent asked at a briefing, how come she can't testify after getting the explanation about her health problem, the secretary's spokesman wrote a letter saying the transcript of what you said would have been wrong otherwise putting asinine words in your mouth. state department not happy with some of this. >> if you know like the state
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department did what is going on is real unless she is really sick in that way and you watch people saying these kind of things that hannity was saying on the air, yeah, you have every right to be angry. >> they shouldn't have said it and i do think it is beyond the pail. i understand how it happened and that's what i was trying to point to. it is also one thing to behind, in the green room or whatever or even on twitter, do you really think that's true? if you have no evidence whatsoever. a history is one thing, but no reason to doubt this. >> i like people to apologize when they make errors and to my knowledge, these people haven't done that. >> as a journalist, i like people to say the truth and not make weird accusations out of no where based simply on suspicion. and this is, when you think about it, also, this is the kind of thing that, you can do a lot before you start saying that you have a blood clot. if you're really dodging the press, there are levels of dodging that you can do before you say like her life is in danger.
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>> let me touch on the big fiscal cliff battle that we talk about at the top of the program. crushing defeat for john boehner and the house republicans who are cut out of the action at the end. was that a fair portrayal? >> i don't think so. i think boehner mishandled the first part of it. it was a bad idea and he didn't execute it well. on the other hand, what he did is he had a rowdy bunch that wanted to put spending cuts in at the last second. he had a way to crush it. >> so, did boehner get a bum repfrreap prom the press? >> he did but early on he had been failed. >> i think they say any landing you can walk away from is a good landing. i think boehner had a good landing. >> he might have limped away from the plane. >> it could have been so much worse. the dissension in the ranks is really bad. in the end, he pulled them together and that's what counts. >> ross doubt who has a column
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today making the case, look, boehner has done impressive things and averted bad catastrophes. >> when you look at who else is in that conference, i'm not sure if there is another leader who would have been able to to that. >> joe biden got great press for coming to the hill last minute and cutting the deal with mitch mcconnell and passed the senate and the house. a lot of times the press makes fun of joe biden. >> a lot of times joe biden makes fun of joe biden. and also there are reasons to make fun of him. i think the way he handled that. he is an old-school politician. i think he and boehner probably get along pretty well. he reminds me of lbj. he is making deals and he's touching people, he's doing it -- a lot on personality. >> my main criticism, not enough of the press focus on the substance. is this going to get passed? >> that was my next question. there was no spending cuts. >> not only no spending cuts, $70 billion next year just in tax, so corporate tax breaks. that's more expensive than the
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revenue that obama gained from putting in the tax cuts. i mean the tax hikes on the rich. so, not enough coverage of substance and too much on horse race. >> i'm shocked to hear that indi indictment. let me get a break here. up next, chris christie causes a media explosion by ripping john boehner over hurricane aid or the lack there of. what explains the president's fascination with this guy? since i've lost weight i have so much more energy than i used to, when i'm out with my kids, my daughter's like, "mom, wait up!" and i'm thinking, "shouldn't you have more energy than me? you're, like, eight!"
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president may have barely focused on the lack of fiscal cliff craziness but people shouldn't contribute to the republican party, that began to change. then there was the governor of new jersey. >> for the victims of sandy and in new jersey, new york and connecticut, there has been 66 days and the wait continues. there's only one group to blame for the continued suffering of these innocent victims. the house majority and their
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speaker, john boehner. >> tim carney chris christie and others sidge republicans. >> i think that's part of it. chris christie and peter king are from new york and new jersey. i'm from new york. this is the way people talk. this is why rudy giuliani got so much media attention. it's amazing to see politicians talking this way because they're not talking like midwesterners. >> even if you're blunt and calling somebody out, pretty remarkable thing for a guy touted as a presidential candidate and to go after the house speaker by name. >> i think it's a pretty cost-free thing to go after boehner at this point congressional rating is almost single digits. >> talk about the reaction what christie did at that 40-minute press conference. >> he is personally entertaining and amazing personality. he is quick on his feet, maybe
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not literally, but he's remarkably clever. he can put words together in a way a lot of politicians can't. and he has some parts of his political stances are in a moderate area, although he personally, actually, is not really that remarkable in terms of his politics. but he's such good copy and so entertaining. >> intramral warfare. i think republicans attacking republicans gets more positive media attention than vice versa, but, yeah, attacking your own guys and doing it in a colorful way like king and christie do are media goal. >> media goal. christie has been known to go off against voters and reporters and teachers unions and sometimes republicans. >> when he does that against voters, he is called a bully and
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when he does it against his own team, he's a hero. >> that sounds like bias to me. >> i can't say, i feel like -- if it's bias, i am guilty of it. he can be, i think he's more entertaining when he goes after people in his own level. when he's punching down. >> the house in the new congress came back and appropriated or approved $10 billion of a possible $60 billion in relief for, mainly for relief of hurricane sandy victims across the northeast. what i'm wondering, you kind of touched on this, this happened during the hurricane itself. obama went to the state and christie embraced the president. but the press tends to always look at this with the political calculation as opposed to, is he doing the right thing for the people who live in his state and need his help? >> how will this affect the 2012 race and the 2016 race? i remember a friend arthur delaney when the employment thing came out, how this affects people who don't have jobs
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instead of how it affects the rich people. but we'll always look at the political angle for any story. >> just what political angle are you looking at. this is very good for his constituents and good for him. in the 36 days since he's -- >> just to wrap this up, less colorful governor of new jersey did it, we would cover it, but wouldn't be jumping up and down? >> to put it bluntly, yes. >> i agree. >> all right. anna marie cox, tim carney, thank you for being with us. my two cents on why lance armstrong lied to so many people, including me. >> hi. >> hi. you know, i can save you 15% today if you open up a charge card account with us. >> you just read my mind. >> announcer: just one little piece of information and they can open bogus accounts, stealing your credit, your money and ruining your reputation. that's why you need lifelock
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>> listen, i said it for seven years. i said it for longer than seven years. i have never doped. that's crazy. i would never do that. no, no way. >> and this is rather personal because lance armstrong also denied it to me, twice. but the "times" quotes people familiar with the situation that armstrong told others he is considering coming clean, admitting that he was, in fact, a doper. this was an orchestrated leak with armstrong's lawyers saying lance has to speak for himself on that. six months ago he told me that anti-doping officials were pursuing a personal vendetta against him. they have no physical evidence, no lab work and no positive tests. last year he told me "60 minutes" wasn't playing fair in interviewing a former teammate who said he had seen armstrong take a banned substance. turns out the cbs program was right. my version of events has never cha changed on this and won't. now armstrong is facing lawsuits
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and his charity badly damaged and he wants to compete, again. lance armstrong who inspired so many people was absolutely adamant with me that he was telling the truth, which makes it doubly disappointing making clear that his own camp wasn't. al gore sells his cable channel to al juzeera whether it can crack the american cable network.
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it was seven years ago that al gore launched a liberal channel called current tv. most recently even taking on a commentator's role at president obama's democratic convention. >> it was brilliant the way he
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dealt with hope and change because he talked about how the change that has happened in the country has been accomplished by the american people and the american people give him hope. >> but now the former vice president is selling the low-rated channel to al jazeera, the middle east based network that has never gained much of a foothold here in the united states. whether the current spinoff has an anti-american tilt, the network has won awards and some praise for its international reporting. >> al jazeera english has been awarded a peebody for our coverage of the revolutions. >> this is al jazeera, president mubarak has resigned. >> joining us now from new york is dave maras a veteran of abc news. >> thanks, howard. nice to be here.
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>> let's start with a broadcasting question. why was the latest version dissolved in a bitter display of lawsuits and counterlawsuits but also eliot spitzer and jennifer granholm. why was it such a flop? >> its production values were simply not competitive with the production values of cnn or msnbc or fox news or al jazeera. secondly, it didn't have a unique role. msnbc was already the liberal fun house mirror to fox news on the right. so, that there was no compelling reason for people to tune in to current tv. >> now, with the news of the sale this week for an estimated $500 million, some critics are saying that al gore is hypocritical and that he as a politician was a friend of israel and now happy to take arab money because al jazeera is financed in part by the
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government of kutar and he will make an estimated $70 million on the deal according to the news. what is your take on these allegations and hypocrisy? >> this is a great business story, not a moral story. this is a story on how kr capitalism has captured american capitalism. al gore was able to get current tv on the air and able to get it on with extremely favorable contracts because he was the former vice president. and because, as the former vice president, he might be able to do favors for people like, say, rupert murdoch, who at dish tv aqueous to a favorable deal for current tv and according to an excellent reporter in "new york times" actually helped gore get capital to launch current tv. now, you see time warner cable wants to renegotiate a deal before it's going to let al
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jazeera take over the current tv channel. again, it's being couched as some sor some sort of moral conflict. this is a conflict about price, not vuirtue. >> time warner cable which is not affiluted with time warner already said it would drop what had been current tv and it's entitled to do that because completely changed the programming and the name and everything. the cable carrier doesn't have to continue. let me play for you. a lot of criticism the right about this deal. something bill o'reilly had to say the other night. >> al gore sold his cable network to, wait for it, al jazeera. the anti-american network out of kutar which ran a documentary sympathetic to osama bin laden. al gore shamed himself simply by selling to al jazeera which will have access to 40 million more american homes. >> dave, is it fair to simply
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brand it the anti-american network. you worked there and had some experience with al jazeera network. >> it is a vast over simplification and one ought to point out rupert murdoch sold the biggest share in the fox news enterprise news corps to one of the richest guys in saudi arabia. now, it's true that he's probably more aligned to american foreign policy than al jazeera might be, although the royal family of the owners of al jazeera have always been regarded as among america's best friends and most reliable allies in the middle east. al jazeera has covered news and when they put -- when they put osama bin laden on television, they covered him as news. they didn't just take his tapes and rebroadcast them. they took his tapes, extracted the newsworthy points from them,
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cut them down and then surrounded them by analysis of interpretation. that's what journalists do. anybody who thinks that osama bin laden wasn't a newsmaker is out of their mind. >> i think that al jazeera has put on some extremist voices, as a muslim cleric who has been known to rant about jews and supports suicide bombers and also put on other points of views, not unnecessarily unfavorable to the united states or israel. >> all right, first off, al jazeera arabic. for example, al jazeera arabic has consistently reported not as part of the arab spring, but they defended the sunni minority royal family in bahrain. al jazeera english started down
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that road and took a lot of criticism and did a 180 and started doing remarkable documentaries and news coverage from a democratic one man, one vote standpoint in bahrain. >> circle back to why you left and what your concerns are. >> well, number one, the channel had changed radically from when i was hired. when the washington bureau was supposed to be one of foura tonmist newscenters which would make its own correspondent assignments and create its own program lineup. what stories would be used at what length and what order. by the time i left both , both functions taken over by washington. in doha there is what you might expect the kind of post colonel, anticolonel attitude and sometimes al jazeera english was willing to report its attitude rather than really report out of
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story. and i, as the leading anchor in washington, felt that i could not put my name on those kind of stories. so, when they would be launched from london they would run. but for the hours i was anchoring in washington, those stories would not run because they, frankly, didn't meet standards. this created editorial conflict. >> isn't al jazeera the new one, al jazeera america going to have a hard time getting carried on these cable systems because of its international focus and controversial reputation? >> i think it will achieve coverage and i think it will find an audience it already has on the internet. it has in new york, where it's been on time warner cable for about a year and in los angeles it's on for an hour or two a day on kactv and it's their most popularly watched program. >> appreciate your stopping by with your insight.
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dave marash, thanks for joining us. are journalists unfairly blaming republicans and democrats equally? two washington authors say the answer is yes. that's next. . but phillips' caplets don't. they have magnesium. for effective relief of occasional constipation. thanks. [ phillips' lady ] live the regular life. phillips'. [ male announcer ] how do you make 70,000 trades a second... ♪ reach one customer at a time? ♪ or help doctors turn billions of bytes of shared information... ♪ into a fifth anniversary of remission? ♪ whatever your business challenge, dell has the technology and services to help you solve it.
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it's drilled into every journalist. get both sides. make every story balanced. what happened when the two sides are unbalanced. the press has failed to call out republicans on their radicalism. norm orsteen and thomas mann of brookings makes the case in their book. it's worse than how it looks. i spoke to them earlier here in the studio. welcome, gentlemen. >> thank you.
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>> you believe, start with you, norm, that the media have utterly failed in the last couple of years to hold republicans accountable. true or false? >> true. i wouldn't say utterly failed. >> largely failed? >> largely failed. >> overwhelmingly failed. embarrassingly failed. there is, as you said at the outset, a norm in journalism. i think it's been reinforced by the outside groups from accuracy and media to fair. the ready to pounce any time there's any sense of bias. the desire to avoid bias means that you fall back on reporting it as if it's he said/she said. they're both equally culpable except in instances where they are not. >> tom, hasn't the press pretty consistently pointed out the influence of the tea party and the way the gop has moved to the right, particularly during the presidential primaries. i've read 1,000 stories about that. >> there have been a number of stories on that particular point, but it really hasn't
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captured the broader phenomenon that's been at work for well over a decade. the republican party is very much together like a tea party now. they're ideological commitments have moved far to the right and they really have deep skepticism of the whole notion of facts, of evidence, of science and they're willing to engage in behavior that a generation ago we would have said is just beyond the pail. that is take the country's public credit and risk a default to get their way. >> so, if what you say is right, what are these organizations afraid of? >> i think there's a deep fear, first, of being attached to a liberal bias. you know -- >> most people do think the press does lean to the left. >> the main stream media want to
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do everything they can to avoid any reinforcement of that. i actually think now, you know, there is a fall back on a refuge on television more than anything else that is, you know, if we're like the law and we present advocates from one side and advocates from the other. then everything is fine. so, if you represent 99.5% of scientists on climate change with one person and a half a percent with the other side, you're fine with that. i also think, frankly, advertisers now are unhappy if there is any sense of bias, as well. the old wall between publishers and advertisers and editors and reporters on the other is not quite a firm wall any more. >> this is a striking message coming from the two of you because you've both been around washington a long time and you have a reputation of being centrist even though you're different kinds of think tanks. maybe you just don't like where the republican party has gone. after all, the people who represent the republicans here in d.c. were elected by
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constituents who want them to do what they're doing and so this is more of an ideological message on your part as opposed to calling out the press for supposed bias. >> it could be, but i don't believe it is. we don't do that kind of analysis and -- >> you do it right here. the republicans are extremists, ready calls. >> look at how we back it up. we look at arguments made and there's no truth content to them. it's just stunning what republicans have said and been willing to do that's simply aren't true. not in a little fact checking way, but in broad arguments about what america's about where we've come from, why we have deficit problems now, what government spending does to jobs, and the like. >> howie, i would just add that it's not so much about ideology as it is about tactics as well. so, for example, we have seen in the last four years filibuster used in ways they've never been
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used throughout history. you can scarcely find a story looking at legislation that failed in the senate with a majority of votes that didn't just say, legislation fails in senate. >> was the same true -- >> you don't call into account -- snuz with the same true during the budget battle last year when some would say the republicans were much more intransigent in pushing the country into default, the stories tended to say squabbling politicians, they can't get along. >> that's exactly right. even our most distinguished inside chronicler of politics and policy making, bob woodward, sort of fell into that very trap. >> in his book? >> yes. >> okay. >> absolutely. >> it's not just the book. it really was the reporting all along and we actually start our book with the story of the debt limit. this is the first time ever it was used as a hostage-taking mechanism and the reports rarely reflected that. you know, part of our concern is, again it's not ideological, but if voters don't have a sense
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of who's to blame, in a system, you know, it's not a parliamentary system. if you have a party acting as a parliamentary minority you have to find ways to hold them accountable and it's up to the press to report the truth not the balance. >> do you believe most journalists are committed to some kind of false equivalence, one side says this, one side says that, and do you see any prospect of that change something. >> i don't think they're committed to it. most of them have strong professional norms that are admirable. they want to get the story right and be fair but we live in an era now when it isn't balanced. the republican party really has become an outlier and quite a radical party and they have to work with that reality and figure out how to manage to be fair, but accurate, to deal with the reality as it exists. if they don't say it and write it, voters are going to have no opportunity to hold such an
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outlier accountable. >> i'm sure many republicans would disagree with what you're saying but appreciate your critique of the press here. thanks very much. still to come, threats against the newspaper that published a map of gun permit owners. the "new york times" loses a legal fight over drones and hanna storm, back on the air after a terrible accident. the media monitor straight ahead. 
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time now for the media monitor. our weekly look at the hits and errors in the news business. we told you last week that journal news had come under fierce criticism for publishing a map showing gun permit owners two suburban new york counties, west chester and rotland, i did not agree but the paper has had
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to hire armed security guards after receiving multiple threats. officials in a third jurisdiction putnam county won't supply information even though it's public information. they will fight that decision. the new york "time" sued the obama administration and lost. the newspaper was trying to gain access about u.s. drone strikes targeted to kill people suspected to having ties to terrorism. federal judge ruled this week that the press isn't entitled to such access under the freedom of information act, even while noting the disclosure could help the public understand the vast and seemingly ever-growing exercise in which we've been engaged for well over a decade at great cost in lives, treasure and at least in the minds of some personal liberty. the judge is right on that score. how an administration carry os us a war especially a stealth watch, should without compromising national security, be public information. times is appealing the decision. hanna storm is back on the air
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after a terrible accident. the espn correspondent was badly burned in an explosion at her propane gas grill. >> it happened in a split second and immediately i was on fire. so my hair was on fire, my chest and the whole top of my shirt was on fire. i yelled inside to my 15-year-old daughter who was in the kitchen, mommy's on fire. you have to call 911. >> photos show how badly her face and hands were burned. a particular problem for someone who makes her living in a visual medium. >> i spent an hour in hair and makeup this morning. i have on false eyelashes. this is all fake hair. when the makeup artist brushed an eyebrow on me i almost stood up and kissed her. >> and that candor. nice to see her mount what sports writers would call a comeback. you may have thought as we headed into new year's the big news was the prospect of plunging over the fiscal cliff but you would have been wron